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My Physical Media Compulsiveness Gets the Best of Me with Vestron’s Candyman: Day of the Dead

Feature Presentations: Episode 32

Welcome to my column dedicated to the appreciation of physical media supplements called: Feature Presentations. The goal of this column is not to say whether a film is good or bad and worth picking up or not—I would like to highlight the discs that go the extra mile and provide film fans with enough tasty tidbits to satisfy even the hungriest of cinephiles. With all that out of the way, today’s article will focus on Candyman: Day of the Dead from Vestron Video.Exterior building with graffiti of Candyman and a bee.

When it comes to the movies I review on Feature Presentations, quality be damned. I’m looking for a disc that’s packed to the gills. It might be a hard-rockin’ double-feature, Criterion thievery, or a black comedy classic; I’m giving the disc a look. Something I’ve noticed over my many years of collecting physical media: some of the worst movies get the best treatment for home video. So, let’s talk about Candyman: Day of the Dead!

I can’t sugarcoat it: this movie’s terrible. I’m not going to sit and write otherwise. Instead, I’d like to discuss why Candyman: Day of the Dead now sits among my physical media collection.

I don’t think I’m preaching to the choir when I say the 1992 film is a stone-cold masterpiece. Writer/Director Bernard Rose, Composer Philip Glass, and star Tony Todd crafted one of the finest horror films of the past 40 years. Where my opinions might deviate, I enjoy the sequel: Farewell to the Flesh. The sequel doesn’t reach the heights the original film hit, but the New Orleans setting of Part Two gives a different yet just as moody vibe as its predecessor. When Scream Factory chose to release the first two films in the franchise on Blu-ray—I was there to plunk down my hard-earned dollars.

Fast forward to 2022, Vestron Video announced that Day of the Dead would be the boutique label’s latest release. The day the press release hit, I posted on my social media about hating the idea that I was going to add the film to my collection. Now that I own the disc, it’s how I thought. Day of the Dead is a dumpster fire. I hate that I own it. Let’s get to the features!

The disc comes with a feature-length commentary from director/co-writer Turi Meyer and producer/co-writer Al Septien. Another thing I have noticed during my years of collecting is that commentary tracks on bad films usually make the disc more palatable. The writers discuss the challenges in crafting a worthy follow-up, production challenges with a low budget, and memories from the set. While there’s nothing on this track that will set the world on fire, this is the type of commentary I like discovering. Both men share honesty about stuff that works versus what doesn’t yet have a positive attitude about Day of the Dead. Their comments won’t make me want to watch the film again, but they talk about the challenges in getting a feature film in the can.

Caroline staring into a mirror at an art exhibit.

Next is an isolated score selections track featuring an audio interview with Composer Adam Gorgoni, moderated by Michael Felsher with Red Shirt Pictures. Gorgoni traces his personal music history, samples versus orchestral, and how he came to compose the score for Candyman: Day of the Dead. While Gorgoni’s comments work well to allow the listener to understand his journey, Felsher also needs to be commended for providing questions that Gorgoni uses as a jumping-off point. While some of Gorgoni’s comments come out dry overall, this works well enough as (basically) a second commentary track.

The Vestron disc also includes a handful of cast and crew interviews. The first, “On the Hook,” is a chat with Candyman himself, Tony Todd. I’m going to admit that this was a disappointing interview for me. “On the Hook” is surprisingly short, with Tony Todd not having a lot to say. He details the history of the Candyman character and mentions the reputation this entry has on the franchise. Maybe I was expecting too much? If you are lucky to have Tony Todd sit down to discuss Candyman, even if it’s the third one, you’d think there would be more than ten minutes of material. I guess I should be happy with what I got. 

The second interview, “A Bloody Legacy,” is an interview with Special Make-Up Effects Designer Gary J. Tunnicliffe. As opposed to the interview with Tony Todd, “A Bloody Legacy” finds Tunnicliffe running through his career and the various makeup work on Day of the Dead. Tunnicliffe walks the viewer through most of the gore gags within the film and how he brought the effects to life. If you’re interested in the technical aspects of Candyman: Day of the Dead, “A Bloody Legacy” may quench that thirst.

“Decay and Design,” an interview with Director of Photography Michael Wojciechowski and Production Designer Marc Greville-Masson, finds the two men discussing working on a horror threequel with no budget. Wojciechowski and Greville-Masson discuss the shooting locations, the jobs one takes when a film’s budget is lacking, and their thoughts about the final product. 

The last bits of Candyman: Day of the Dead‘s bonus materials come in the visual medium. The disc features multiple theatrical and home video trailers. Along with this, Vestron included a home video promo trailer which—as I was working at a video store around this time, I remembered seeing from back in the day. So, that’s nice, I guess. The disc finishes off with a stills gallery featuring images from the film and promotional material.

As someone who enjoys Candyman as a franchise, one can see Day of the Dead as an outlier. Granted, it’s a big outlier, but one none the same. I know I’m in the majority of those who find many faults within this substandard film, yet never opposed to a movie getting a lavish physical media release. Now that I own it, watched all the features, and crafted this edition of Feature Presentations, my compulsiveness has relaxed. Candyman: Day of the Dead now proudly sits on a shelf next to the first two installments. And it will remain there until the end of time, or I need the space and will sell it. Whichever comes first!

Candyman stands in a crowd, his hook and normal hand raised.

And, there you have it! For the handful of people who love Candyman: Day of the Dead, Vestron did you a solid. Sweets for the sweet. For the rest of us, there are plenty of other Candyman films out there waiting for you to call their name.

Written by Robert Chipman

Robert is a lifelong cinephile and has had an admiration with film for as long as he can remember. When he's not checking out the most recent theatrical release, viewing a movie on one of a 1,000,000,000 streaming services or picking up the latest physical media disc, he's trying and failing to make it in Hollywood as a screenwriter. He also has a weird fascination with Stephen Dorff. Make of that what you will. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

One Comment

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  1. I fail to see what OCD – an often debilitating disorder – has to do with this. Are you using it as a cute buzzword or have you actually been diagnosed? If it’s the former, then using it here is absolutely deplorable with no exceptions. If it’s the latter, then you should already know better then to toss it in a title as a trendy descriptor where it is not really applicable.

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